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Decolonial Abstraction: Frank Bowling’s Atlantic Errantry

Kobena Mercer, Bard College

September 30, 2021 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm EDT · Zoom

Department of Art and Archaeology, James F. Haley '50 Memorial Lecture

The color field abstraction Frank Bowling produced during his time in New York from 1966 to 1975 was made possible by transatlantic journeys that cast the narrative of late modernism in an altered light. By looking closely at Bowling’s improvisational approach to the materiality of paint, this lecture examines cross-cultural frictions that placed this Guiana-born, London-based artist in productive tension between his dialogue with African American artists such as Mel Edwards and Jack Whitten and his friendship with formalist critic Clement Greenberg.

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